--by Anon, posted Apr 22, 2006
Just then, my eyes catch glimpse of a young woman in her thirties escorting a rather frail Mexican woman into the shop. Maybe it was the gentleness of their encounter or a vague familiarity with the circumstances, but something about them grabs my full attention. I immediately feel an impulse to do something for them. Anything. Unfortunately, before I can gather my wits, they leave the coffee shop without ordering anything!
When my wife returns, I tell her of my silent encounter. "But I missed the chance to do something for them," I say with the angst of a window shopper reading a "closed" sign on the front door.
Strangely enough, though, they come back into the same coffee shop five minutes later. Unbelievable! "This is my chance," I think out loud as my wife shares some creative possibilities. The two women order, take their table placard, and disappear out of our visual range.
After quickly finishing up the coffee, we walk up to the counter and ask the smiling cashier -- "What is your most popular dessert?" Chocolate Insanity Cake it is. With a childlike glee, my wife makes an unusual order. "Can I buy a piece for the two women that were just here before us? But don't tell 'em it was from us. Just give 'em this card," she says while taking out a smile card.
The cashier, a young girl in her early twenties, can't believe it. "Wow. Yes, of course." "Table number 38, wasn't it?" "Yeah, those two ladies that were just here." "Yeah, that's right."
She peeks at the smile card just enough to read the "smile" in big font, and attracts the attention of her co-worker. "Do you guys do this all the time?" she asks, rather lost for words. "Not all the time. Just whenever the heart calls for it," I respond with a natural smile. And I make an offer they simply can't refuse -- "I think we might have an extra smile card or two. Would you like one?" "Oh yeah, heck ya. We'll do something kind too."
And to think they hadn't even delivered the Chocolate Insanity Cake yet.
We, my wife and I, are people of modest means. Tonight, we were planning on doing our once-in-a-while dinner at a restaurant. But walking out from that coffee shop, both of us stand upright with our brown grocery bags in tow and say, "Let's eat at home today."
It's more filling to give a chocolate cake than it is to eat it.